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The Tufts Climate Initiative was formed in 1999 to help the university reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. In 2006, the Tufts Climate Initiative became part of the Tufts Office of Sustainability.

In 1999, Tufts University committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Kyoto Protocol (7% below 1990) and in 2003, President Lawrence Bacow renewed the University’s dedication to climate protection by adopting the goals of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (10% reduction by 2020). Compared to business-as-usual, this translates to a real reduction of about 30% below currently CO2 levels.

In May 2001, Tufts University President John DiBiaggio sent a letter to President Bush that was co-signed by 41 other university presidents, urging him to revise his energy policy to place greater emphasis on conservation and finding alternatives to fossil fuels.

In 2004, The Tufts Climate Initiative released its five year report, chronicling all of its campus-wide endeavors since 2000. Download the full report here.

The Tufts Climate Initiative focused on four main areas:

1. CO2 Reductions (highest priority) – Realizing direct and measurable reductions in carbon emissions. CO2 emissions can be reduced through increasing energy-efficiency, switching fuels, decreasing energy demand, purchasing carbon credits.

2. Research and Monitoring – Developing an understanding of the actions needed and the incentives that must accompany them.

3. Education – Increasing awareness about climate change and the personal and institutional connections to the problem.

4. Outreach and Events – Helping other institutions to make similar efforts to reduce their own contributions to global climate change and increase their awareness of climate change action.